Legco's 15 remaining pan-democratic lawmakers tendered their resignations on Thursday, a day after four of their colleagues were disqualified by Beijing.
Convenor of the pan-democratic camp, Wu Chi-wai, said he hopes the mass resignation will show the entire world how “ridiculous” it was for the National People's Congress Standing Committee to oust the four lawmakers, and how Beijing has “completely destroyed One Country, Two Systems”.
Wu, who is the chairman of the Democratic Party, also hit back at a claim by the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office that the resignations are an open challenge to Beijing's powers and the authority of the Basic Law.
“The point is, whether or not the Beijing government really respects the Basic Law. From our point of view, it's clear that Beijing does not respect the Basic Law. The words coming from the Beijing government will not change our mind," he said.
While Wu said the council will no longer have opposing voices following the departure of the 19 pan-democrats, the fight for democracy will continue outside Legco.
“We all know that to fight back, to get back the democracy and freedoms from the authoritative government, it takes a long time, maybe generations of time, maybe one or two generations. But we have to keep on, we cannot give up, because once we give up, it means we will lose forever,” he said.
Council Front's Claudia Mo, meanwhile, submitted her resignation wearing a black shirt – which she said was to commemorate last year’s anti-government movement. She also brought along with her a yellow umbrella – a symbol of the 2014 Occupy protests.
Mo told reporters she was sad, yet relieved to be leaving the council.
“Relieved in the sense that the council, at the moment, is very painful to deal with because it’s so full of fake speeches and so full of fake sincerity. The pro-Beijing types will just pass anything that the government wants to pass... I keep saying, it’s okay to lose but it’s not okay to quit. We are quitting the legislature only at this juncture, we are not quitting Hong Kong’s democracy fight,” she stressed.
Even though the pan-democrats submitted their resignation letters on Thursday, only Ted Hui's was to take immediate effect.
While Mo will officially leave the council on Friday, the rest of the resignations will only take effect on December 1 to enable their support staff to get salaries for this month.
Last updated: 2020-11-12 HKT 17:34